Latest degree is an ideal chance for aspiring actors

Aspiring actors and performers can now go straight to Broadway as part of a new course from the University of Chichester.

The master’s degree in musical theatre offers students a chance to develop their skills in dance, singing and acting at a company in New York.

The one-year programme is led by award-winning performers and technicians from Manhattan-based troupe The Broadway Experience.

Students are recruited as an ensemble and receive tutoring from industry experts while performing in fully-staged productions.

Senior musical theatre lecturer Karen Howard said: “Our MA students will be the first in the country to transfer a full production to an off-Broadway venue.

“They will participate in the creation of a musical theatre company to produce and perform established and new repertoire in London and New York.”

The practical course has been created for performers who want to develop their skills in dance, acting and singing, or follow specialist paths in creative producing and stage management. “It also explores the history of musical theatre in the USA as well as Europe, and allows students to hold a symposium before performing their work to experts in London.”

The postgraduate degree follows on from the University of Chichester’s BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre which currently tutors more than 130 students.

Ben Hartley, a former principal in Cats and Swan Lake, founded The Broadway Experience in 2006.

He said: “This is a bold adventure for both our faculties. It is an amazing opportunity for emerging professionals to experience and contrast the world’s two foremost musical theatre environments and really extend their abilities.”

As part of the course students will learn from the faculty in Manhattan, which includes Ben Hartley and other award-winning performers.

The degree, which runs for 42 weeks, starts in January 2015 and will be divided into three terms.

Auditions for a place on the course are being held at the University in January next year.

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